T.E. Lawrence

8"x8" oil on masonite panel I know he didn't have a grand mustache or beard, but just look at that face. The eyes alone make him a great subject, nevermind the acreage of noble jaw. There are hundreds of years of life in those piercing orbs. You look him in the face and you just want to get him a doughnut or something to cheer him up; see how his day is going (and try to get those motorcycle keys away from him). After a somewhat long hiatus, I have started to paint the living again, but I still love painting these portraits from black and white photos. They pose certain challenges for me as a painter and the models are ready at my beck and call and, boy, can they sit still. 

Posted December 12, 2014

Montgomery Ward Powr-Kraft Drill

10"x10" oil on canvas Two of the most important questions of the 20th Century have always perplexed me: Firstly, why the heck did Montgomery Ward pick such a dorky name for their line of tools? I mean, Powr-Kraft, really? And secondly, but no less important: With such a wonderfully lusty and lyrical voice, why was Keely Smith not even more popular than she was? Her voice could melt solid steel, it was that wonderful. So, maybe Louie Prima was a mistake, but cut the girl some slack. Oh well. I will probably never have an answer to either of those two ever important questions, but it didn't keep me from painting a portrait of a Monkey Wards power drill with a dorky name. I present to you the "Montgomery Ward Powr-Kraft Drill" in gloriously smooshed oil paint. I would like to wish everybody a Happy Thanksgiving! And, unlike some well-meaning pundits, I fully endorse over eating during the holiday. If you have it, be thankful for it and indulge.
Posted November 26, 2014

Big Baby Brownie Camera

30"x30" oil on canvas With somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 paintings, I have sometimes missed one (or two or 20) pieces while selecting images to send to you. I could be wrong, but I think this is one I may have missed. It has a diminutive 12"x12" predecessor that looks—especially in digital form—just like this big one. The above painting is one in a series of three little cameras painted large. I have shown you the other two, but seem to have missed this one—the first in the series. To help refresh your memory, I have included a shot of all three together, below. On another note: I was thinking of renaming these emails "Raymond's Weekly Painting" due my recent one email per week average, but "Weekly" would pen me in, allowing me only one email per week. What would happen if I want to share more? So, to all of you who have written and commented about the frequency issue, firstly I would like to say "Thank you" for your comments and secondly that, for now, I will stick with the subject line of "Raymond's Daily Painting." At least until I come up with a better one.
Posted November 18, 2014

J's Other Ropers (The Larger)

16"x20" oil on canvas Please find the above straight-on, hopefully better, photograph of the painting that I had to steal The Spousal Unit's shoes to achieve. If there is anything that all my paintings of footwear have taught me—from a materialistic marketing perspective—is that I need to steal more of The Spousal Unit's shoes and paint them. People love shoes. Whilst the thievery may not promote Logan nuptial bliss, it might make me a few bucks that will eventually end up in Her hands anyway. (Apparently, it has been proven, according to outside experts and a recent government study, that I cannot be trusted with even a modicum of money. Nobody will tell me who the experts are, or show me the study or its results, but still, I am told that I am not to be trusted with my own money. So She gets it.) Maybe the extra spondulix* will make up for the occasional absence of a boot or two or three. On a painting note: This piece was painted/carved entirely with knives. The picture fails to show it, but there is a substantial amount of slashing inflicted on this sadly abused canvas. An artful artist would probably tell you that they have a deep philosophical reasoning or a heartfelt artistic imperative for painting with knives. But everybody already knows my reason for doing it: One good wipe cleans a knife and I am too lazy to clean my brushes. Yep, that's me, about as deep as a dry birdbath.

*I have been waiting to use that word since I heard a character in the marvelous "Jeeves & Wooster" use it.
Posted November 13, 2014

sold • private collection los angeles, ca

Sabre 620 Camera

10"x8" oil on canvas panel I am morally and politically opposed to cameras that tilt back when at rest. (I am also opposed to the use of coconut in cookies, but I won't go into that.) That opposition is why this painting will go down in history as a fluke in my oeuvre. (There, it has taken me most of my life to actually use that word. Here it is three more times to cover the rest of my life: oeuvre, oeuvre, oeuvre. Don't ask me to pronounce it—I mispronounce my own name.) Where was I? Oh yeah, tilting cameras and how they are evil and should not be trusted. The seemingly innocent backwards tilt of this camera, along with the canted sides of it faceplate brought on a headache of perspective AND they don't look all that hot when approached straight on. It is not the only way I approach my subject matter, but I do often enjoy hitting my subjects straight on, it makes the illusion harder for me to achieve by taking away the handy tool of perspective that makes objects recognizable and believable. If that sounds jumbled and nuts, wait until you hear me try to explain the workings of a Wankel rotary engine. Why I procured this camera and why I painted it remains a mystery to me, but I wanted to share it with you anyway. In all reality, it is a beautiful little camera, but I am not going to paint it again. On another note... I will have three pieces hanging in the upcoming "The Man Show: A Celebration of Men in Art" at the Cope Studios. I do not particularly celebrate men in art, but I had three paintings of men, so I submitted them. The opening reception is this Saturday night and I will be there for a spell—annoying as many people as I can and hoping for good cookies. The show specifics are shown below.

Posted November 5, 2014

sold • private collection beverly hills, ca

The Man Show:  
A Celebration of Men in Art
Art Exhibition at Cope Studios, Glendale, California
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 8 from 6PM to 9PM
Cope Studios
926 Western Avenue, Glendale, CA 91201

Exhibition online, visit www.danielakart.com and follow the link to the catalog.
Below are my three pieces in the show (L/R):
King Torren 24"x18" / Flute Player 12"x9" / Pasadena Artist Terry Kelly 24"x18"

My Little Albert

8"x8" oil on masonite panel I will tell you an overt secret*... When I title a piece "My Little..." anything, it is a clue that my small and severely addled brain is ruminating over the possibility of painting a larger version. This decision making process may take me years (Please reference prior statement: "...small and severely addled brain..."), but it does mean I am thinking of it. For example, a few years ago I painted two small Abraham Lincoln portraits—one black & white and one color—simultaneously as samples for a Daily PaintWorks painting challenge. It should go down in history as one of the most mean spirited challenges ever concocted by a demented mind for that website. Here is a direct link to it: The Lincoln Challenge. If you read the text for the challenge, it will confirm the nastiness of it. Anyway... It has taken me all this time to come around to actually planning to paint a much larger Lincoln portrait (should happen soon). Having a show coming up and being in need of paintings to fill said show is a "fire under my hoohah" motivator as well. 

*Sorry, I love oxymorons.

Posted October 31, 2014

sold • private collection thousand oaks, ca

Enduro Dixon No. 20 Pencil Sharpener (The Larger)

24"x36" oil on canvas This is the larger version of an 8"x12" painting I did earlier. Just because a piece looks good small does not guarantee it will be a success at a larger scale, but I think this one worked out rather well. Both paintings sold, and while that does not prove that they are good pieces of art, it mysteriously makes me happy. Funny how that works. (With my messed up priorities, I will probably just blow the money on cookies.) Representing small items at such a grand scale is a fun challenge for me. While it was enlarged a lot for the 8x12, it was dramatically enlarged for the above piece. As a matter of fact, I think the actual pencil sharpener would fit nicely under the horizon line of the painting—down below my signature.

Report on the Beverly Hills Art Show
I survived. Sometimes that seems like the main point, but let me elaborate anyway. The show last weekend was probably the best Beverly Hills Art Show I have had. The weather was great and many friends came by to visit. A big "Thank You" to all of you who brought me cookies. I guess that means people actually read my posts. Sales were brisk and plentiful and that makes me happy (see the money "...mysteriously makes me happy..." comment above). The Spousal Unit was not able to be there for a few hours Saturday and, wisely, not trusting me in public without adult supervision, actually asked a friend to babysit me. The friend was unable to sit in and hold the leash, but the Park Rangers happily agreed to keep an eye on me and apply their Tasers whenever needed. They do that anyway, so She didn't even need to ask, it just added a nice layer of legitimacy to their Taser usage (on me). What else? Oh yeah, I received Honorable Mention in the painting category. The ribbon is a wonderfully garish chartreuse and, while scaring the bladders of small dogs, it did garner much attention from humans. Life goes on, so on to the next artistic challenge and maybe finally addressing my eBay addiction. (Don't count on that last part.)

Posted October 23, 2014

sold • private collection beverly hills, ca

Raymond in Beverly Hills, Part Two

Other goings on:

Been painting a lot.

       I need cookies and
              a strong mug of joe.


To all of you on the other side of the globe, I apologize for boring you with this message.

Emerson Clock Radio

8"x12" oil on canvas panel At about 9-inches wide, this is what would have been considered a small clock radio in its time. It is kind of small and weighs just about as much as a Sherman tank. No kidding (well, a little kidding). It seems that the manufacturer equated weight with perceived value. So, when confronted with a smallish radio they felt compelled to put a 200-pound lead weight in the bottom to lend heft and a sense of "You're still getting a lot for your money, mister." Reminds me of when devious little Cub Scouts carve out the bottom of their pinewood derby cars and fill them with nuts and bolts to make them roll faster in the race. They somehow think that nobody is going to notice the little 7-inch car that once weighed 12-ounces now weighs more than the kid. Not that I ever did such a thing—I was a saint of a Cub Scout. (I used my Dad's tube of graphite powder to cheat.) How the heck did I go from an old heavy clock radio to cheating at pinewood derbies? It must be all the paint fumes in here.

The Beverly Hills Art Show
I will be showing my wares in space #139, that's in the first park between Rodeo and Beverly Boulevards. Saturday & Sunday, October 18th & 19th (that's this coming weekend) / 10am to 5pm both days. If you, like everybody else, are coming just to see The Spousal Unit, She will be holding court starting Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday. Yes, I will be alone Saturday morning—unsupervised and probably getting into all sorts of trouble with the park rangers. They only tolerate me (i.e., don't tazer me) because they like Her. If you are going to be on this side of the world, come and see me—the weather looks like it is going to be fine.

Posted October 13, 2014

sold • private collection beverly hills, ca

Raymond in Beverly Hills

Other goings on:

The Man Show: A Celebration of Men in Art
I will have a few pieces in this show at Cope Studios in Glendale.
Opening reception: Saturday, November
Show dates: November 1, 2014 to January 3, 2015
Cope Studios / 926 Western Avenue, Suite A & B, Glendale, CA 91201 Contact: Margaret Danielak @ 626-354-0359 or danielak@gmail.com


 Contemporary Masters, Artistic Eden IV I have a piece in this exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of History in Pasadena. The museum well be open and admittance free during Pasadena’s famed Art Night (www.artnightpasadena.org) celebration tonight, October 10 from 6pm to 10pm. If you miss that, the exhibit runs to January 11, 2015.
Pasadena Museum of History / 470 W. Walnut Street, Pasadena, CA 91103 / www.pasadenahistory.org

The Beverly Hills Art Show
October 18th & 19th • 10 am to 5 pm both days
Space #139 in the first park between Rodeo and Beverly Drives


To all of you on the other side of the globe, I apologize for boring you with this message.

Montgomery Ward Trim/Circular Saw

4"x6" oil on raymar panel Okay, go ahead and get all the "Monkey Wards" jokes out of your system—go ahead. Are you done? Great, let's move on. This is another "Raymond seeing this and saying to himself, 'Self, I gotta have that saw.'" The design of this saw is just fantastic. Being a trim saw, it is little—kind of a diminutive circular saw—using wickedly thin 4-inch blades. If it wasn't so Buck Rodgers cool (or Duck Dodgers for all you Daffy Duck fans out there), the little thing would scare me. It is definitely a tool designed for a limited, specific purpose and outside of that it would be a dangerous little devil. I don't know why I included that little detail shot of my signature other than my friend Sean encouraged me to shoot detail shots of my work because the depth of my paintings is lost in my regular overall pictures AND that The Spousal Unit's camera was handy to steal and it shoots up-close shots better than my camera and she wasn't around to see me steal it. Yes, I am an opportunistic camera pilferer.

Posted October 7, 2014

My Ben Hur Hand Drill

6"x4" oil on door skin panel Ben Hur is such a robust name for such a diminutive drill—I do not know if it is even a foot long—but that is the name stamped on the side. It is kind of like a Charlton Heston Mini-Me. Size aside, the tool feels great in my hands. A little loose, but well balanced and well worn. I love tools. I apologize for slacking off somewhat with my posts. The Beverly Hills Art Show is coming up next month (yes, they judged me in again and Yikes! it is in just three weeks) and I am working on a possible solo show for 2015. We will see how it pans out, but all this makes me hyper to paint or, at the least, yell at The Spawn a lot. Not that they listen—I would get more reaction from the bird bath if I yelled at it. So, I may slack off a bit with my posts every now and then. Now, excuse me while I go outside and yell at the bird bath.    
Posted September 30, 2014

Cincinnati Drill

4"x6" oil on door skin panel The actual title for this is "Vintage Electric Cincinnati Drill I Scored at a Local Yard Sale on a Tip From My Buddy Scott." I went after three drills at the yard sale, but couldn't swing the bargain I was looking for. So, I snagged this beauty alone, took her home and rewired her—she had thin white zip line from an ancient lamp for a power cord. There is a movie script somewhere in there and I doubt it would get a G rating. Anyway, I have a small slue* of these tool paintings coming at you. When you see me groping around in the dark like this, I am sniffing out possibilities for larger paintings by testing composition, colors, formats, etc. These minis tell me a lot. (Please don't tell The Spousal Unit I am groping about, there might be a slight misunderstanding and I might slightly miss a few digits before I can explain.)
Posted September 23, 2014

*Sorry. Should have given you an oxymoron warning there.
While your down here, may I suggest—for your listening pleasure—that you pick up some Bill Evans Trio?

Marissa Benedict

16"x24" oil on canvas Our friend Marissa is the Principal Trumpet for the Pasadena Symphony and Pops. She seems to be in considerable demand, playing all over with different high caliber ensembles. As a matter of fact, if you play video games, you have probably heard her trumpet in the background whilst you performed black ops or got called to duty or blew the head off that annoying zombie waitress or deprived that very inconsiderate terrorist of his morning cup of joe. You name it, that violent act was backed up by a first class trumpet player who—against her better judgement, I'm sure—agreed to pose for me. Thank you, Marissa!
Posted September 18, 2014

Izze Bottle and Tang Jar

6"x4" oil on raymar panel So, Spawn Number One comes home with that Izze bottle and says, "Here, paint this." Considering the imp does not drink soda, I was wondering if he was picking up his old man's keen observational powers. It is actually known as scrounging, but keen observational powers sounds so much better, don't you think? And how often do you get to use the word keen, anyway? Enough about the painting and my dreadful vernacular. I found out that my recent car ills (one being it dying on me down in Little Tokyo when it was a lovely 108 degrees outside) were caused by my battery being 10 years old. When my mechanic saw the battery, he said it was a freak for lasting so long. I was really let down. I was hoping for a Super Freak. Ow. (I know that really bad joke dates me, but I couldn't resist.)

Posted September 16, 2014

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